Friday night document dump: White House rearranged deck chairs with the media as Solyndra sank
posted at 12:00 pm on March 24, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
Ah, the Friday night document dump — political nature’s palate cleanser. Is there anything it can’t expose? Actually, yes, but we’ll get back to that in a moment. Last night’s FNDD details the reaction inside the White House last August as it became obvious that Solyndra would go sink into irretrievable bankruptcy, taking $527 million taxpayer dollars along with it, emphasis mine:
Several key White House offices were involved with the Obama administration’s messaging plans and other preparations as the collapse of the taxpayer-backed solar company Solyndra was imminent, newly released documents show.
The latest White House documents delivered to House Republicans on Friday again highlight the extent to which senior administration officials braced for the fallout as Solyndra – a company President Obama had personally visited – was about to go under.
A White House memo that noted the danger of “imminent bankruptcy” at the end of August 2011 says, “OMB, DPC and NEC have been working with press and OLA to be prepared for this news to break.”
Acronym translation: OMB is the Office of Management and Budget, DPC is the Domestic Policy Council, NEC is the National Economic Council and OLA is the Office of Legal Affairs.
They were “working with the press”? Pray tell, who in the media knew about Solyndra’s imminent collapse and didn’t report it? For that matter, while the White House was working with the media, did they bother to inform Congress of the pending destruction of over a half-billion dollars in taxpayer money? The memos go on to describe high-level meetings in the White House to discuss the collapse of Solyndra, including one on August 29th, but so far nothing in the document dump suggests that anyone reached out to Congress to include them in the discussions.
But they worked with the press, which apparently didn’t report it until the White House gave them the thumbs-up. Good thing we have that independent media in this country keeping government honest, and all that.
Not everyone in the White House caught the FNDD spirit, however. Assistant Attorney General Ronald Welch refused to hand over subpoenaed documents in Operation Fast & Furious, claiming that Congress leaks them to — wait for it — the media:
The latest twist in the tug of war over Department of Justice documents central to the investigation of Operation Fast and Furious came Friday evening, when a top Justice official refused a congressional request for subpoenaed documents and blamed GOP lawmakers over the leaking of sensitive information.
In a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich suggested that sensitive information relating to ongoing investigations is coming from their staffs. …
The documents refer specifically to reports of investigation (ROI’s) involving an active criminal investigation of a firearms trafficking ring, and to the prosecution of suspect Manuel Celis-Acosta, who awaits trial on felony counts, Weich said.
The Justice official said he was denying Issa’s and Grassley’s requests for additional documents because of the sensitivity of the ongoing operations.
Well, the White House giveth to the media and taketh away from Congress while blaming the media. It’s just another Friday night in The Most Transparenty Administration Evah.